Why are New York State taxpayers spending money killing animals, when private organizations are willing to spend their own money to save them? At a time of economic challenges, our shelters should be partnering with the private sector to increase lifesaving, while reducing costs. By making it illegal for shelters to kill animals when qualified non-profit rescue organizations are willing to save them, a rescue access law would save lives, save taxpayer money, and reduce burdens on municipal governments. In 1998, California passed such a law by a vote of 96 to 12—as close to unanimity as possible in a state as large as California. In 2010, Delaware passed it unanimously. An analysis in the City and County of San Francisco found that doing so reduced their municipal expenditures $486,480 in just one year. Before the California law went into effect, only 12,526 animals were being transferred from shelters to rescue groups statewide every year. The rest were being killed at public expense. That number now stands at over 58,939—a 370% increase in annual lifesaving, all at no cost to taxpayers. In just one California County, the number of animals saved by rescue groups, rather than killed, went from zero to almost 4,000 per year as a result of the law.
In fact, passing such a law not only shifts the cost of care from taxpayer to private philanthropy, the municipality saves the cost of killing and disposal. The California law is saving 46,413 animals a year while saving $1,856,520 statewide for killing and disposal (these savings do not include additional savings relative to cost of care). And by charging rescue groups an adoption fee, they could be bringing in roughly $2,000,000 in additional revenues. NYS animals and NYS taxpayers deserve the same.
If -- and only if -- you are from NYS, please contact Assemblyman Bill Magee and urge him to vote YES on A.07312 (CAARA) and to urge the rest of the Agriculture Committee he chairs to do the same. The vote is Wednesday. The lives of 25,000 animals a year hang in the balance.
Telephone: (607) 432-1484